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What is Shane Cassells afraid of?

4 March, 2005

Sinn Féin candidate for the Meath by-election, Councillor Joe Reilly has again challenged Fianna Fáil candidate, Shane Cassells to a debate on Irish unity. Mr. Cassells had declined a debate on Tuesday claiming that his canvassers are debating the issue of Irish unity on the doorsteps every night.

Councillor Reilly said, "On Tuesday I challenged the Fianna Fáil candidate to a debate on Irish unity but unfortunately he declined. What I want to know is just what he is afraid of. His party claims that a united Ireland is one of their key aims, so surely they must have a policy that they can stand by and debate.

"Or is Shane Cassells running away from this debate because his party couldn't give a halfpenny damn about a united Ireland and they are using the issue to gain votes from people who genuinely desire Irish unity.

"I would call on Fianna Fáil to positively engage with our campaign for a Green Paper on Irish unity. If they are sincere when they say they are for a united Ireland then they should discuss with us how we can advance this common goal of ours.

"Shane Cassells says his canvassers are debating Irish unity on the doorsteps every night. Maybe one of them would like to come and debate with me if Shane doesn't feel up to it. Needless to say I think the electorate of Meath would much prefer to hear from the Fianna Fáil candidate than one of his canvassers. So I'll reiterate my challenge, if he truly desires a united Ireland then he should come and debate with me, if not then he should stop telling the electorate that he does." ENDS

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